Kashmiri in the top 75 influential Colo-rectal surgeons for the first time in Europe's history.
Colorectal surgery is a field in medicine that deals with disorders of the rectum, anus, and colon. A man born and raised in India's Kashmir who studied and specialised in medicine here has gone to the UK where he found that in whatever he was specialised in India is not valid there. He had to start from scratch but has made it bigger than he ever thought. This is the story of Arshad Malik from Kashmir, India who created history in Europe.
Arshad Malik was born and brought up in the Srinagar city of Kashmir. His aim right from childhood was to become a master of modern surgery. He pursued his MBBS at Government Medical College in Srinagar. Later, he went on to pursue his MS in General Surgery at SKIMS, Soura post which he received keyhole surgical training in Delhi. He proceeded to walk towards achieving his dream and flew to the UK to further hone his surgical skills. When he landed in the UK, he was appalled to see that there were nearly 500 applicants for each job. Fortunately, Arshad performed well and could find place in the system sooner than his competitors. When he took a closer look at the reality, he understood that Indian surgical training is not recognised in the UK. This made him start from the roots again. He leaped from unit to unit slowly improving his expertise to fit himself in the highly competitive UK higher surgical training scheme that he pursued in Cambridge surgical training rotation. “I had heard of big institutions like Cambridge but never imagined I would get trained there,” he said. He is currently serving as a consultant with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
This Kashmiri born doctor gained super speciality in colorectal surgery and made significant contributiona to the patient care in his field. For his outstanding contribution in his work, he was placed in "A History of the European Society of Coloproctology" that brings to limelight, 75 surgeons in Europe who left a mark on the speciality which investigates, diagnoses and treats all aspects of colorectal conditions. He was thus featured in the list of 75 topmost influential surgeons of Europe. He also became the first person to receive the Lars Påhlman medal by outscoring more than 100 candidates who appeared for the European Board of Surgery Qualification (EBSQ) in Coloproctology.
Grateful For What He Received:
Arshad says that whatever he is today is all because of his father who is an architect. It is his father, he says, inspired him to work hard by having faith in his abilities. Arshad also credits his Professor Ashiq Hussain at SMHS, Hospital who helped and guided him immensely during his initial years of training. “I wanted to be the best in what I do. I had belief in myself. I was not perfect but reflection and self-introspection helped me to improve,” he said.
Dr. Arshad wishes to immerse himself in developing training programmes and curriculum for trainee surgeons who are aspiring to become colorectal surgeons in Kashmir. He says that there are brilliant doctors and surgeons back in Kashmir who do a great job with limited resources. He wishes to fund and organise fellowship programs for aspiring colorectal surgeons offering them to intern with Arshad's team in England so they can gain experience and help people back in India.
His Words Of Wisdom:
To all the aspiring colorectal surgeons, Arshad advises them to work in good institutions that come with a solid research portfolio. "Focus on your subject. Publish in good peer reviewed journals. Seek for fellowships in well-known centres all over the world. For example, the Athwas scholarship scheme and American Kashmiri associations who can guide you further,” he said.
Indian origin man making it to the top 75 influential colorectal surgeons list for the first time in the history of Europe - a matter of pride, isn't it?
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